Let me first say (with some amount of shame) I own exactly ONE Chiefs jersey...its a #88 away.
I'm in the real estate business which heavily involves the creation and execution of contracts. A contract very simply put is a promise where one party agrees to some specific action and the other agrees to specific consideration. The key word is "promise" the "contract" side of it merely binds the parties legally to that promise.
Tony made a promise to the Kansas City Chiefs which if you peel away all the layers means he made a promise to the consumers of Chiefs football...we the fans.
I loved Tony Gonzalez and to some small extent always will but I'm not going to accept the table-scrap he just handed down as fair "consideration" to relive him of the promise he made to the Chiefs and their fans.
I was talking to my twelve year old daughter about Tony leaving the chiefs, she’s not really a football fan but she knows I love it so she humors me. I hope some of you have kids this age as well, if so, try this experiment; Explain what Tony did and ask your kid what (s)he thinks about it. You will probably have to explain what a contact is, try doing that without using the words "promise, commitment, or obligation". You can't fool a kid they still believe a promise is a promise. It takes a few years of witnessing “adults” and “role models” constantly backing out of commitments to taint a kid into accepting that behavior. Some of us even rationalize it to the point where we think we understand why they are doing it and even feel like they deserve to be let free of their obligation because “we” couldn’t provide them with more than what they asked for.
I doubt there was any language in Tony's contract that said "as long as the team is competitive" or a "Super Bowl contender clause", and he certainly has no reason to have a beef with the ownership or management of the team. Tony was simply being selfish putting his own desires ahead of the promises he had already made. Condoning and even worse rationalizing this behavior will only encourage star players to continue to shop for championships as the twilight of their career grows near. More and more will do so even in the middle of their careers. Does Deon Sanders ring a bell?
As long as we fans continue to support athletes as they shop the better markets for a championship table-scraps are all we are going to get and more and more athletes are going to feed them to us along the way. I want Tony Gonzalez to get his championship ring but only if it’s with the Kansas City Chiefs. I feel no obligation to cheer him on simply because he said a sweet “goodbye” to me as he ran to the waiting arms of some other team. This is not sour grapes its just holding someone accountable. Athletes need to fulfill their standing obligations before they go do their ring shopping and not resort whining their way out of tough situations.